C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No fee up to Class VIII in UT govt schools
* 20,000 tenements for slum dwellers
* Southern sectors to get govt hospital
Tribune News Service

Schools closed today

All government and private schools in Chandigarh will remain closed on Tuesday. An announcement regarding this was made at the I-Day function here today.

While the government schools will remain closed in Mohali and Panchkula, the decision on the closure of the private schools has been left to the respective managements, sources said.

Chandigarh, August 15
In a bid to provide free elementary education to all, the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), today announced the abolition of fee up to Class VIII in all Government Schools of the Union Territory.

And from December, 2005, onwards, the system of collection of funds in government schools shall be abolished and the administration shall meet this requirement from its own Budget, General Rodrigues said while addressing a function after unfurling the National Flag and taking the salute at a marchpast on the occasion of Independence Day celebrations at the Parade Ground, here today.

In another far-reaching decision, the Administrator said that from next year, all boys studying in non-model government schools up to Class VIII will be provided free books and free school uniforms like girl students. He urged the management of the private schools to follow these steps in making education free up to Class VIII.

General Rodrigues reminded the people of the sacrifices made by our freedom fighters and martyrs for the attainment of freedom and also the brave armed forces for maintaining the integrity and sovereignty of the country. A real tribute to them would be for us to work together, in a spirit of complete unity, partnership and commitment for the prosperity and progress of our country.

Unfolding the Administration’s plans for improving the quality of life and the city infrastructure, the Administrator said Chandigarh was one of the most rapidly progressing cities in the country. Its quality of life has improved and it ranks first, in the country, in terms of the human development index, quality of life and e-readiness. He said we have launched a novel programme of m-Sampark (mobile sampark) for the benefit of all residents.

Already, services relating to electricity and water bills have been started through m-Sampark. Further services will be added shortly. This programme will take Chandigarh even higher on the e-Readiness scale. Our special project, known as e-Jan Sampark, already providing services through 11 kiosks envisages setting up of 50 manned Jan Sampark kiosks in the city to provide information related to health care, government functioning, tourism, economy, transport, helplines, education and emergency services

With a view to promote the IT sector, General Rodrigues said a world class IT park with SEZ status was coming up. The twin projects of information technology park and technology habitat would lead to private sector investment and foreign direct investment, attract investible surplus capital to this region, encourage public private partnership in infrastructure and industry, boost exports and the growth of ancillary units, providing support services.

With a view to ensure un-interrupted water and power supply to the residents, General Rodrigues said that augmentation work of water supply scheme Phase IV is in an advanced stage of completion, which will provide 20 MGD additional water. He said besides revitalising and restoring the original capacity of the Sukhna Lake, the Administration has planned to establish new water bodies, which would integrate the water supply with recreational facilities. He said sincere efforts had been made to ensure 24-hour quality power and bring down transmission and distribution losses to 16 per cent from the existing 24 per cent. The existing 33 kv sub-station in Sector 18 is being upgraded to a 66 kv sub station at the cost of Rs 5.6 crore to meet the increased power demand of the residents of Sectors 8,9,17,18 & 19. We plan to install a new 66 kv grid sub-station in Industrial Area, Phase III. A non-conventional energy sources Park will also be set up to encourage and create awareness about various sources of energy. The Administration has launched a website of the Engineering Department, which can be accessed for information regarding billing etc. A centralised complaint centre will also be introduced shortly.

In the health sector, General Rodrigues said a mobile dispensary under Rural Health Mission has been launched, besides installing several state-of-the-art facilities at the Sector 16 General Hospital. Spinal endoscopy has been started and an MRI machine is being installed. The establishment of a second government hospital for southern sectors and a deemed university status for the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, are high on our priorities. The 10-bedded Chandigarh Hospice for terminally-ill cancer patients will be converted into a 20-beded hospice in the near future.

With a view to make the city slum free by providing alternative settlements to the slum population, there is a plan to construct 20,000/- tenements for all slum dwellers. Multi-storeyed flats would be constructed to ease the pressure on the existing housing infrastructure.

General Rodrigues further said that the Administration was implementing a mass rapid transit system to improve the transportation facilities for Chandigarh and its adjoining townships of Panchkula and Mohali. Apart from this a low loading bus system has been introduced to de-congest the Chandigarh-Shimla highway by constructing a flyover at transport chowk.

To boost industrial activity in the Union Territory of Chandigarh, Industrial Area-III is being developed. The Administration has allowed the conversion of industrial plots into commercial sites, in the existing Industrial Area, on the payment of reasonable fee. We have an elaborate plan to develop the City Centre.

The Administrator said the Municipal Corporation has signed an MoU for setting up of a Garbage Processing Unit in 10 acres of land in the west of Sector 25. There is a plan to set up a Carcase Utilisation Centre in collaboration with the Punjab Urban Development Authority.

General Rodrigues said the Administration has taken several steps to modernise its police force and to make it pro-active and people friendly with increase effectiveness in law and order operations. He said a single window system has been provided to provide various services to the people. A community relations unit has been set up and a woman desk has been set up in each police station. The community policing project has been launched besides commissioning of 24-hour well- equipped trauma highway ambulance.

With a view to giving fillip to recreational and tourism oriented activities, General Rodrigues said various facilities has been added in different gardens.

A Water Sports Complex-cum-Theme Park is also planned. We are exploring the setting up of a film city, acting school, education city, biotech park and developing a fruits and vegetable export hub, in 100 acres, at Makhan Majra, to boost the economy, to give our youth avenues to grow and to promote tourism. We are looking forward to upgrade the Chandigarh Airport.

The Administrator said that in collaboration with the NSRDC, Visakhapatnam, we have launched a project for de-silting and wet-dredging of the Sukhna Lake, which will be completed in the next few years. There is also a plan to set up an Aquatic Biosphere Park along the Lake, which will be a source of recreation and education, about aquatic fauna. Another lake, on the periphery of the city, will also be set up to strengthen the ecological balance and to conserve rain water.

The Administrator inspected an impressive parade led by the DSP, Mr S.S. Randhawa, comprising contingents from Chandigarh Police, CRPF, Home Guards, Fire Brigade, Civil Defence, scouts and guides and school children. The jawans of the Chandigarh Police displayed tent pegging skills and the schoolchildren presented a colourful cultural programme. In marchpast, Chandigarh Traffic Police got first prize with the CRPF and the Chandigarh Police with second and third position.

In Home Guards, Civil Defence and Fire Services category, Chandigarh Home Guard got first position.

In NCC boys, NCC Army wing got first position followed by NCC Naval Wing and NCC Air wing as second and third position, respectively. In the girls guide, Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 18 got first prize. In cultural programme, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 21, got first prize, Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary School was second and K.B. D.A.V School, Sector 7, got third prize. Overall trophy was won by the Chandigarh Police.

General Rodrigues also honoured distinguished residents and employees for their outstanding contribution in different fields of activities.

Ms Jean Rodrigues, wife of the Administrator, was also present on the occasion.



Granthi cheated on pretext of donation
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, August 15
In yet another incident of cheating, a swindler robbed a granthi of Rs 1,500, in the name of donation.

When the cheat arrived at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Phase I, Industrial Area at around 9.15 am, a gullible Sarabjit Kaur, wife of granthi Gurmeet Singh did not suspect him when he told her that he was blessed with a son after 11 years of his marriage. The well-built, dark complexioned and clean-shaven man, who came on a Scooter, also told her that he wanted to give a gold chain as a donation to her husband. Since the granthi had gone for a kirtan, she gave him her husband’s mobile phone number. He also told her that he had ordered ‘provisions’ for the gurdwara, which she could collect from a nearby shop.

Sarabjit Kaur reportedly went to the shop along with her son to collect the ‘provisions’ leaving her daughter, Devinder Kaur (12), behind. The cheat came back to gurdwara immediately and told the daughter that her mother had sent him to get some money. He reportedly took away Rs 15,000 from her. The deception came to light, when the shopkeeper told Sarabjit Kaur that no one had placed any order for the gurdwara.

The matter was reported to the Industrial Area police station and a case of cheating under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.



Kumhar Colony men untraced
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 15
Residents of the Sector 25 Kumhar Colony Chandigarh ran from pillar to post the entire day looking for the 10 missing men of the colony which they alleged were picked up by the Kharar police on Wednesday night.

The residents were contacted this morning by the in charge of the police post Sector 24 and told to go to the Kharar police station to look for the men. “However, when they reached there they were told that none of their men were in illegal detention at the police station and they should go to either Rajpura or Patiala to look for them,” said Mr Ashok Aabharwal the pradhan of the colony.

Yesterday, the colony residents had alleged the Kharar police had picked up 10 of the men from the colony and were keeping them in illegal detention, adding that another 10 women of the colony had also been picked up that night, beaten up and then let off.

“The group on returning from Kharar went to the Sector 24 police post where they were reportedly told by the in charge that the men had been “picked up” for questioning after informing the local police. They were at Ropar now and would be released by tomorrow,” said Mr Sabharwal.



3-hour jam on highway
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 15
Hundreds of motorists on the Panchkula- Shimla National Highway Number 22 were caught in traffic jams for more than over three hours at various points through the day today. Cars, buses and trucks could be seen lined up from Jabli to Parwanoo and from Kalka to beyond Datyar.

Sources pointed out that while this was a routine affair at this time of the year when the apple season was in full swing, trucks loaded with apples were making their way down to the plains, the problem had, however, intensified with an influx of motorists going uphill due to the long weekend.

At many points, many of these trucks were parked wrongly on roadsides which also caused the jams. 



Project to green cold desert
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Buoyed by the success of Nature Discovery, an awareness project on environment and nature conservation in City Beautiful, the Chandigarh-based Commonwealth Youth Programme Asia Centre has started its second project at a height of 3,600 metres in the Himalayas.

Under the project, nature conservation and income-generating initiatives will be undertaken at Thicksey Monastery, near Leh, with villagers as agents of change.

“The aim of the project is to serve as a model that can be replicated by local institutions, associations or individuals with relatively little investment,” says Ms Shirani Rajapakse, Programme Manager of the centre.

Thicksey Monastery is the seat of Tiksey Rinpoche, main leader of Gelug School.

For carrying out activities, the centre has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Leh-based NGO, the Rural Development and You, and the monastery authorities.

Mr Padma Tashi, Executive Director of the NGO, says an organic kitchen garden, a greenhouse and a winter storage house will be set up. To beautify the campus lily and lotus ponds will be set up. For this, the centre has provided a sum of Rs 1.50 lakh to the NGO.

Initially, 32 varieties of vegetables were planted in the kitchen garden. “The garden was expanded and improved because monks are vegetarian and most of their daily requirement comes from the garden,” explains Mr Tashi.

To utilise the barren land around the monastery, the NGO has planted seabuckthorn. Seabuckthorn berry is one of the species successfully used on large scale, particularly in northern China, to control desertification and to conserve land and water resources.

Similarly, the cultivation of strawberries, flowers and medicinal plants will be promoted to make Ladakh one of most agriculturally productive regions.

To popularise the concept of organic farming, the NGO will set up vermicompost pits with the assistance of the Environment Society of India (ESI), Chandigarh.

“This will also greatly help the monastery in converting biodegradable waste, agro waste, kitchen waste or leaf litter into pest-free manure,” says Mr S.K. Sharma of the ESI.

A greenhouse with the technical know-how of the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s Field Research Laboratory at Leh will also be set up.



Passing Thru

Romeo James
Romeo James, goal keeping coach of the Indian hockey team

Have you done any special course to become a goalkeeping coach?

No, I have not done any course for the specific job. I was the custodian of the Indian team from 1982 to 1985. Then I became the coach of the team in 1993-94. I was again selected for the job in April this year..

What should be the qualities of a good custodian in this game?

A good custodian should have sharp reflexes, a killer instinct and the ability to read the game fast. He should be a quick decision maker and have the courage to stop the speeding ball by throwing himself in front of it.

Do you give advice to other position players also?

Yes, I also give advice as well as tips to full back and half back defenders. I also discuss the shortcomings and weaknesses of the players with the chief coach.

How do you find Chandigarh in terms of sports?

The Administration here seems to be sports promoting as the city has good infrastructure for sports. The Sports Complex, Sector 42, is a unique centre as it houses so many sports training centres and two high class academies for football and hockey with a lot of facilities.

— Akash Ghai



Reptiles, insects render Sec 30 park hazardous
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
The park of ‘A’ Block, Sector 30 B, is crying for attention. Residents of the area are upset over the dilapidated condition of the park.

A few months ago it was a well maintained park with the swings and benches. But now it is dangerous to enter in it as it has wild grass. “We do not allow our children to play in the park as there is a danger of insects and reptiles,” said Ms Namrata Sharma, a resident of the area.

The swings installed here are also not in a good condition.The grill around the park has been broken, some residents have started parking their vehicles in it.

Heaps of earth have been dumped in the park, The heaps produce foul smell. The heaps have been not only piled up in the park but also in the lawns of corner houses of the area. “The municipal corporation staff have promised to remove the garbage. Now more than 20 days have been passed but nobody turned up till today. The heaps not only stinking but also cause seepage in our walls of the house”, rued Ms Meena Sharma, another resident.

“The park needs an immediate attention of the authorities concerned. It should take an action to solve the problem”, opined Mr Shiv Kumar Maurya, a resident of the block.



Time to get city on World Heritage List
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Mr Jeremie Hoffmann, Head, Preservation Department, Municipality of Tel Aviv (Israel), says it is high time administrators of the City Beautiful started working overtime to get Chandigarh on the coveted UNESCO World Heritage List.

“It can never be too soon. A full-fledged effort has to be made. Chandigarh is a wonderful city and deserves to be on the World Heritage List as an example of modern heritage. But, the only factor, and the most important one, is the bureaucracy up to the challenge of meeting the demands put by UNESCO while choosing a city?” Mr Hoffmann asks.

He was part of efforts made by Tel Aviv administrators to get UNESCO to put the city on the list. Only one other city - Brasilia - is on the list.

Mr Hoffmann, architect and town planner Sari Klaus, writer Tsur Shezaf, and 15 students of the School of Architecture, University of Tel Aviv, are currently in Chandigarh to study its architecture on the invitation of College of Architecture teacher Kiran Joshi.

Though Chandigarh’s name has figured many times during discussions on the subject of the World Heritage List, no concrete efforts have been made to send the formal nomination for its inclusion in the list.

“Let me tell you one thing. It is not a very easy task. Getting the inscription is only one part of the story. The difficulty is in retaining it. There are so many roadblocks. But, for a city like Chandigarh, getting on the list will be a crowning moment. When we got it, Tel Aviv celebrated like never before. It was one of our proudest moments,” recalls Mr Hoffmann.

Asked about her impression about Chandigarh, architect and town planner Sari Klaus pointed out that being in Chandigarh was akin to being in Tel Aviv, and no she was not talking about the living standards.

“What I mean is that both are modern cities and have much in common in terms of architecture. Like Tel Aviv, residents of Chandigarh also have a sense of belonging. The only thing missing here is no concerted efforts are visible to preserve the heritage of the city,” she says.

Tel Aviv has about 1100 buildings/structures that cannot be modified, brought down or destroyed as they are the examples of city’s heritage.

“You know, tourist rush to Tel Aviv has gone up many times after 2003 (when it was included in the heritage list). Tourists come to see our architecture,” discloses Mr Hoffmann.



Governor hosts ‘At Home’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
The Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), hosted an “At Home” for the citizens of Punjab and Chandigarh at Punjab Raj Bhavan this evening.

People from different walks of life converged on the Raj Bhavan before the start of the ceremony to greet the Governor. The Raj Bhavan was specially decorated for the distinguished gathering.

The “At Home” function began as the Punjab police band played the National Anthem.

The Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Justice D.K. Jain, Judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court, senior ministers of Punjab Government, Goc-in-C, Western Command, Lieut-Gen S. Pattabiraman, senior officials of Punjab and the Chandigarh Administration and Vice-Chancellors of Panjab University and Punjab Agriculture University were among those present at the function.

Office-bearers of various political parties greeted the Governor on this occasion.

The Governor and his wife Jean Rodrigues, shared their joy with the gathering. General Rodrigues interacted with the guests.

Several farmers from Punjab also came to greet the Governor.



HUDA plots turn into piggeries
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 15
Haryana Urban Develop-ment Authority allotted residential plots in Sector 16, near Budanpur village in year 1992. Thirteen years down the line, HUDA has failed to develop the land.

The allottees of these plots allege that the land is undulating and remains filled with water. There is no direct approach road to these plots, and one has to pass over undulating land near Indira Colony, a slum, to reach these plots.

The allottees also allege that residents of the slum colonies near these plots now use their plots as piggeries. Since there is no place in the slums to keep the animals, all pigs are let loose here during the day.” HUDA should ensure that their landis developed and hopuses come up here. For this, they have to ensure that pigs and stray animals are kept off limits from these plots, so that people begin construction,” says Mr Arwinder Singh, who has a plot here.

He says that he has approached the authorities on numerous occasions, but to no avail. “ I am left with no option but to sell off the land, and look for an alternative plot. But because of the location (near slum colony) and of the land being undeveloped, I am not getting a good deal,” he says.

Allottees say that at the time of allotment of plots, HUDA had assured that the slum colonies would be rehabilitated in small plots and the land will be developed and handed over. “But none of these promises have been kept and HUDA has failed to act as a custodian of its own land,” they allege. 



Rain catches commuters unawares
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
A hot and humid day today turned sodden and dripping with a sudden spurt of showers. The first rain around 11 am was sporadic at best with some areas receiving a sprinkling and some sectors not even experiencing a whiff of rain.

The downpour around 7 pm today, was as sudden as it was intense. However, it was intermittent at best with air force station here, recording only 1 mm of rainfall.

Roundabouts were the most affected as usual with standing water causing traffic jams and slow movement of vehicles.

The maximum temperature recorded was 33.8°C and the minimum 27°C. The forecast for tomorrow is much the same as today with occasional showers in the day.



Readers write
25 lives in danger!

This is to bring to your kind notice that a large landslide has occurred on one side of the said block on August 5 due to heavy rainfall. 'The foundation of the building is exposed and the building is precariously hanging on the left side, posing threat to the whole building as well as to the lives of about 25 persons residing in the six flats of the block. We also wish to mention that from the "malba" it appears that the whole building had been constructed on a loose strata, for which the resident owners of the flats have been left to suffer now.

It requires an immediate action by the authorities concerned to do the needful for retaining the building by way of providing necessary walls below and to save the lives of the residents. We request the authorities concerned to take immediate action in this regard to allay the fears of the residents. In this regard, we have already represented our concern to, a) The President, Municipal Committee, Parwanoo, b) The Assistant Commissioner, Parwanoo, c) Sh Raghu Raj Ji (MLA, Parwanoo), d) The Executive Engineer, HIMUDA, Parwanoo, vide our letters dated 6.8.2005 and 8.8.2005.

Residents of Block 15

Degeneration of Sector 40

Sector 40 was established about three decades back, and at present is one of the populous established sectors amongst the southern sectors. But to keep pace with the fast life, instead of providing more services, which are needed for the residents, the services which were provided by the Administration Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, are being snatched away gradually. Following facts speak the truth:

1. Government College for boys was started in the initial years of establishment of this sector and continued for quite some time. But later on it was shifted to Sector 46 causing serious inconvenience to students. Now they have to go to far away places for study.

2. Earlier direct bus service (numbers 3, 3A) was provided from Sector 40 to PGI. But with the passage of time, these buses was discontinued. Now there is no direct service from Sector 40 to PGI. Consequently people have to first go to Sector 17 and then to PGI.

3. Since the concept of apni mandi was introduced, apni mandi had been functioning in Sector 40. But recently apni mandi has been shifted and the people have to go to Sector 39. Sector 40 is the central location covering sectors 37, 38, 39, 41. To cater to the needs of all these sectors, apni mandi is required to be restored to this sector.

Since the establishment of Sector 40, a small post has been functioning in a rented accommodation. About a fortnight back, a dispute between Chandigarh Housing Board and an allottee led to the closure of the post office. This has caused immense loss to the residents. It is specifically mentioned that this post office has been catering to the needs of sectors 37, 38, 39, 40, 41

This sector is vulnerable to floods, as the entire water of the city flows towards southern side of the city endangering the lives of the residents due to floods. To control this situation, no foolproof arrangements have been made to pass out the storm water freely to save the residents from the danger of floods.

We urge upon the authorities to restore all these services, which had been available to the residents earlier.

S.S. Negi, H.No. 2870, 48-C,

Traffic jams

Recently I had been stuck in a traffic jam at the Sector 34-35 roundabout for 15 minutes in the evening. I felt that the traffic regulation system needed to be looked into more seriously. A few days ago, when the Mumbaites were overcoming the deluge due to downpour, the same stretch of road became waterlogged after a few hours of rain. It is a pointer to the failure of the drainage system of Chandigarh. Although the water receded after some time, the traffic chaos could be judged by the fact that even on the alternative routes traffic remained held up for quite some time. Traffic jams in the city have become not so new, specially during office hours. The traffic lights put up at the junction of 35/22, 34/21 is a feather in the administration's cap, but much needs to the done, specially at roundabouts like one mentioned above.

Prasenjit Bhandari

Traffic violations

A number of camps and meetings are held by the authorities concerned to make people aware about the traffic rules to bring down the number of accidents. Recently, a traffic rules enforcement week was observed in Mohali. An order banning the use of pressure horns in Ropar district was passed in May. The Supreme Court has banned the use of loud speakers and pressure horns from 10 pm to 6 am to check noise pollution. But, it is very surprising that the orders are not implemented on ground. During the traffic enforcement week, at every crossing where a number of traffic police personnel were present, vehicles did not fall in lanes while pulling over on red light. Traffic police personnel remained mute spectators to such a violation of the lane rule. Similarly, there is no check on the violators of the ban on the use of pressure horns. Vehicle passing through residential areas keep blowing pressure horns as if they are playing a musical instrument. People, who are in a hurry, start blowing horns as soon as the green light flashes. The fact is that whatever order might be passed against any act, like child marriage, dowry, use of loud speakers or pressure horns, unless the order is implemented in letter and in spirit, general public can't get any relief.

Col B.S. Ghuman (Retd)

Cable blues

For the past three or four months viewers Sector 4 and 5, Swastik Vihar, Mansa Devi Complex, have been missing their favourite channels like AXN, TV-Sports, SAB TV, Smile TV, DD Punjab. Also the local channel starts after 9.30 am. Repeated complaints to the cable operator — Yours Cable — have fallen on deaf ears. Citi Cable, Chandigarh, and other cable operators should extend their services to these sectors.

Residents of Mansa Devi Complex

Caring animals

I thank Chandigarh Tribune for taking up the case of the monkey, who was injured badly by crows. Whenever I came across a seriously sick animal, most of the time doctors of animal rights organisations were not available. Moreover, at times there is nobody to answer the telephone calls whenever a person requires an ambulance for an injured animal. The newspapers should publish in ‘emergency services’ the phone numbers of vets so that an individual or animal rights activist could get in touch with them. The monopolisation of animal rights organisations, which are not dispensing their duty earnestly, should be put to an end.

Harbandana Kaur Sidhu

Teachers’ stir

I recently read the news about the protest of teachers working on contract seeking their regularisation. Well, I think that they don't deserve it. I am a JBT teacher with the UT Education Department and posted at GHS, Sector 24-A, Chandigarh. The president of the contract-based teachers union also works in the department. The behaviour of these teachers towards students and their colleagues is too bad. They gossip around and on their cellphones while on duty. I think that the department should not bother about their protest.

Prem Kaur

Post office

The Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Ambala Division, has inserted a notice in The Tribune seeking quotations for hiring accommodation for opening a new post office in Sector 12-A and Sector 26, Panchkula. But, Sector 20, which is most thickly populated, comprising over 100 multi-storeyed group housing complexes, needs a post office more than the sectors mentioned in the advertisement do. It would be commercially viable in Sector 20. Moreover, a post office already exists in Industrial Area, Phase I, which is just across the road from Sector 12-A. An early opening of a post office in Sector 20 market, instead of Sector 12-A, to cater to the postal and small savings needs of thousands of residents of Sector 20 and adjoining sectors, is the dire need of the hour.

Lalit Bhardwaj



Fauji Beat
Conscription — a possible answer

IN a recent survey of more than 11 lakh persons in India by defence India.com over a period of five months, a large majority of them have expressed their opinion in favour of conscription.

The survey covered Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Jammu and Kashmir, and parts of Sikkim.

Among the people who were surveyed were students, teachers, lawyers, doctors, industrialists, government officers, businessmen and NGOs.

Today, discipline, law and order and accountability have fallen to the lowest ebb. Not to speak of corruption, which has assumed endemic proportions. No wonder then that people feel that conscription will bring back discipline to the nation and root out many evils from the society.

Nothwithstanding the large-scale unemployment, the right kind of people do not come to the Army. And this is resulting in the Army remaining under-strength. Besides, no country can afford a large standing Army in which the pension bill exceeds the salary bill.

The answer, therefore, lies in having a combination of “full-timers” i.e. regular soldiers and “temporary hands”. The conscripts should serve say for five years and then form a trained reserve to be called up during an emergency.

All countries in the world go in for conscription as and when it is considered necessary by them. By this system, the Army takes youths and gives the country trained and disciplined men.

Pension payment to joint account

According to the existing orders, the monthly pension is credited to the pensioner’s account in a bank. The government has now issued instructions that pension can be credited to a joint account of the pensioner and his or her spouse in whose favour an authorisation for family pension exists in the Pension payment Order (PPO).

The joint account of the pensioner could be operated by “former or survivor or by “either or suvivor”. The rules of nomination will continue to be applicable to this account.

The existing pensioners, desirous of getting their pension credited to the joint account with their spouses are required to submit their applications to the banks from where they are drawing their pension on receipt of these instructions by the banks. Most the banks have not yet received these instructions from their channels.

ECHS rules

From the queries received from some pensioners it appears that there is still some doubt about the payment of medical allowance to the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) members. Though this point was clarified in this column earlier, it is again confirmed that the medical allowance cannot be drawn by the ECHS members.

According to the existing orders, all the 227 ECHS polyclinics will become functional by March 2008. Therefore, depending on the strength of members, which will continue to increase, more polyclinics are likely to come up at places from where the ex-servicemen have to commute a long distance to reach the existing polyclinics. This has been clarified by the Central Organisation of the ECHS, Delhi Cantonment.

— Pritam Bhullar



Bengal partition remembered
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 15
The weakness of the political leadership in the country led to the partition of Bengal in 1905, and later to the partition of the country.

These were the views expressed by speakers during a seminar organised by the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh at Arya Samaj Mandir, Sector 9. The seminar was organised by the RSS during the centenary year of the “Bang Bhang Virodhi Andolan” to protest against the partition of Bengal today.

Prof Bajrang Lal Gupt said the British had divided Bengal on July 28, 1905, in order to supress the freedom struggle. Massive demonstrations were held throughout the country and people even stopped using all imported stuff. It was after six years of continuous struggle that Bengal was united in 1911,” he said.

Prof Gupt said the British again planned and executed the partition of the country in 1947. But the people and the leaders at that time accepted this division of the country, he said.

Mr Rajbir Singh Rawat, Director, Gandhi Smarak Bhavan, also spoke on the occasion.



MI commander, not ‘Army commander’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
A colonel commanding the Western Command Intelligence unit has been inadvertently referred to as ‘Army commander’ in the headline ‘Army commander faces disciplinary action’ that appeared in the Chandigarh Plus page of August 15. It should have read, military intelligence commander, and not army commander.

In a communique, the official spokesperson at Headquarters Western Command, Brig S.P. Singh refuted allegations that military intelligence funds were embezzled by the officer. He added that the terms of reference of the court of inquiry ordered against the said officer did not include investigating allegations of sexual harassment.

The Brigadier said if charges levelled against the officer were proved, further action as per the Army law would be initiated against him.



Award presented to Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Former Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association President Anmol Rattan Sidhu has been re-appointed President, Northern India Chapter, Unity International Foundation.

In his role as President of the Northern India chapter of the Unity International Foundation, Mr Sidhu has been looking after the friendship associations with Argentina, Bhutan, China, Iraq, Kyrghyzstan, Pakistan, Senegal, Sudan and Tunisia.

At a function held here, Mr Sidhu was presented the coveted “Apostle of International Understanding” award by the foundation. The award was presented by Haryana Governor Dr A.R. Kidwai and former Assam Governor Dr Bhishma Narain Singh.



Snag disrupts power supply
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 15
Residents of Sector 11 here had to sweat it out through out the day due to frequent disruptions in power supply since 3 am this morning. The duration of the electricity cuts ranged from an hour to four hours. Water supply to the houses in the area was also adversely affected due to the electricity cuts. Electricity supply was finally restored after 10 pm today.

Official of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam said that because of excessive humidity there was technical snag in the transmission system which could be repaired only at 10 pm.



Road safety programme for rickshawpullers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
The Traffic Awareness Organisation yesterday organised a personal contact programme for rickshawpullers to educate them about traffic rules.

According to a press note, multi-colour pamphlets in Hindi carrying messages for rickshawpullers along with caricatures on road safety were distributed at different places.

Earlier, Mr Amitabh Dhillon, SP (Traffic), released the pamphlet formally. A noted cartoonist, Satwant Singh, made the caricatures.

Mr Amar Manchanda, president of the organistion, underlined the need for training in road safety to the rickshawpullers.

He urged the rickshawpullers to have good behaviour with the visitors to the city so that they carry sweet memories of their visit here.



Sarpanches’ sammelan held
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 15
Villages need values like brotherhood, love, cooperation, harmony and mental peace in order to have overall development. This was expressed by Brahma Kumar Amir Chand, national Vice-Chairperson of the Social Service wing of the Rajyoga Education and Research Foundation, Mount Abu, at the sarpanches sammelan at Rajyoga Bhawan, Sector 33, here.

On this occasion, Brahma kumari Achal Didi, zonal chief of Brahm Kumaris, said the sarpanches and panches should help make every house free from drug addiction and other socal evils.

Mr Avtar Singh, BDPO, Chandigarh, said one can achieve anything in life though self-control.

Sarpanches and panches have been invited to take part in the All-India Sarpanch Mahasamelan being held at Mount Abu from September 9 to 13.



One injured in mishap
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 15
One person was injured when three cars collided near the cricket stadium, here, today.

According to information, one person suffered minor injuries and one of the cars was badly damaged.

Mr Gurjit Singh, SHO of the Phase VIII police station, said no case was registered in this regard.



Mufti meets media today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
The Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, will address a “Meet-the Press” programme at the Chandigarh Press Club on Tuesday at 11 am.



Landlord booked for trespass
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 15
The local police today booked a Sector 22-C landlord and others on the charges of kidnapping, illegal confinement, trespassing, theft and criminal conspiracy. The role of three Punjab Police cops, who allegedly “carried out the kidnapping,” was also mentioned in the FIR.

According to police sources, the complainant, Mr Krishan Kumar, a resident of Sector 42, who is running his junk business from a rented accommodation in Sector 22-C, reported to the police today that for the past six months his landlord, Bittu Dhir along with Prem Dhir had been threatening him to vacate the shop.

He alleged that last night three Punjab police cops came to his residence and told him that they wanted to interrogate him.

Mr Kumar in his complaint said the cops assured him that they would release him within 15 minutes after interrogation. The cops reportedly took him to Phase VIII police station in Mohali.

He further alleged that the cops kept him at the police station throughout the night and did not allow him to make a phone call to his family. It was only in the morning that he was allowed to make a call to his uncle. He was later released by the police.

He also reported that his belongings in Sector 22-C shop were strewn on the road. He reported the matter to the police and a case was registered.

When contacted the Superintendent of Police, Mohali Mr Varinder Pal, maintained that Mohali police was not involved in this matter.



Scooterist snatches purse from woman
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 15
An unidentified scooterist snatched a purse from a woman in Sector 33. In two separate incidents, a Kajheri resident was caught red-handed while stealing a gas cylinder and other articles in Sector 31 while a Bapu Dham colony resident was arrested for stealing a bicycle.

Ms Saroj Bansal of Sector 21-C reported to the police alleging that an unidentified scooter borne youth snatched her purse containing Rs 800 and a mobile phone from near Senior Secondary School, Sector 33, on Sunday. A case has been registered in this regard.

Held for stealing

Vijay Kumar, a resident of Kajheri village, was arrested for allegedly stealing a gas cylinder, a regulator and other articles from near the ICI turn near the petrol station in Sector 31 on Sunday. Mr Rajesh Kumar, the complainant, who works at the above said petrol station, caught the accused red-handed and handed him over to the police.

The police said Vijay is a drug addict.

A case has been registered against the accused under sections 379 and 411 of the Indian Penal code in the Sector 31 police station. He was produced before a local court, which remanded him into judicial custody.

In another incident, Vijay Kumar of Bapu Dham Colony was arrested by the police on the allegation of stealing a bicycle from Sector 25, yesterday.

He was reportedly caught red-handed by Joginder Singh of Sector 25.

Car stolen

Mr Vijay Kumar Thakur, a resident of Sector 37, lodged a complaint to the police alleging that his Santro Car (CH-20-C-4160(T)) was stolen from his residence during the night of August 13. A case of theft under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered in this regard.

Held for drinking in public

The local police arrested Karam Singh, Surinder Singh and Parveen Kumar, all residents of Mariwala town in Mani Majra, for allegedly drinking liquor at a public place from Mani Majra on Sunday.

A case under the Excise Act has been registered against them in Mani Majra police station. They were later released on bail.



5-star facilities for no extra cost: Mountview
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Having been conferred the five star status by a delegation of the Union Ministry of Tourism, Hotel Mountview will now come on the map of internationally recognised hotels while allowing CITCO to even tie up with internationally know chain of hotels worldwide.

However, the five star facilities will be offered to the occupants for no extra cost. Stating this the General Manager, Mountview, Mr Arvind Malhotra, said that the five star status certainly would not translate into hiked rents of its 145 luxuriously furnished rooms and 11 suits, some with private balconies.

“We will be offering all the facilities that come with the five star tag without charging any extra money from our occupants,” he maintained. The hotel has separate multi-cuisine and Chinese restaurants, a round the clock coffee shop, health club, business centre.


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